All changes made to the description and title of this division.

View division | Edit description

Change Division
senate vote 2021-08-12#7

Edited by mackay staff

on 2021-08-20 08:13:18


  • Committees Selection of Bills Committee; Report
  • Committees - Selection of Bills Committee - Report on counter-terrorism bill


  • <p class="speaker">Dean Smith</p>
  • <p>I present the ninth report of 2021 of the Selection of Bills Committee and I seek leave to have the report incorporated into <i>Hansard</i>.</p>
  • <p>Leave granted.</p>
  • The majority voted against an [amendment]( moved by Victorian Senator [Lidia Thorpe](, which means it failed. The motion would have added the words below to the [motion]( "*That the report be adopted.*"
  • ### Amendment text
  • > *At the end of the motion, add:*
  • >
  • > *"and, in respect of the [Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Sunsetting Review and Other Measures) Bill 2021](, the bill be referred immediately to the [Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee]( for inquiry and report by 30 August 2021".*
  • <p class="italic"> <i>The report read as follows&#8212;</i></p>
  • <p class="italic">SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE</p>
  • <p class="italic">REPORT NO. 9 OF 2021</p>
  • <p class="italic">1. The committee met in private session on Wednesday, 11 August 2021 at 7.13 pm.</p>
  • <p class="italic">2. The committee recommends that the following bills <i>not</i> be referred to committees:</p>
  • <ul></ul><p class="italic">Customs Tariff Amendment (2022 Harmonized System Changes) Bill 2021</p>
  • <ul></ul><ul></ul><p class="italic">3. The committee deferred consideration of the following bills to its next meeting:</p>
  • <ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><p class="italic">Electoral Legislation Amendment (Candidate Eligibility) Bill 2021</p>
  • <p class="italic">Electoral Legislation Amendment (Party Registration Integrity) Bill 2021</p>
  • <p class="italic">Electoral Legislation Amendment (Political Campaigners) Bill 2021</p>
  • <p class="italic">Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Offences and Preventing Multiple Voting) Bill 2021</p>
  • <ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><ul></ul><p class="italic">4. The committee considered the following bills but were unable to reach agreement:</p>
  • <ul></ul><ul></ul><p class="italic">(Dean Smith)</p>
  • <p class="italic">Chair</p>
  • <p class="italic">12 August 2021</p>
  • <p>I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">That the report be adopted.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Rachel Siewert</p>
  • <p>On behalf of Senator Thorpe, I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">At the end of the motion, add:</p>
  • <p class="italic">"and, in respect of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Sunsetting Review and Other Measures) Bill 2021, the bill be referred immediately to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 30 August 2021".</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Michaelia Cash</p>
  • <p>I also have an amendment to move which will add, at the end of the motion, the words:</p>
  • <p class="italic">"and the following bills not be referred to committees:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Sunsetting Review and Other Measures) Bill 2021; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) Charter of the United Nations Amendment Bill 2021".</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Rachel Siewert</p>
  • <p>President, I'm aware that Senator Thorpe wants to speak to the report.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>On advice from the Clerk, we will deal with the amendment that Senator Siewert moved on behalf of Senator Thorpe and then move to the amendment foreshadowed by Senator Cash.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Rachel Siewert</p>
  • <p>President, I know Senator Rice also wants to make a contribution on the report itself.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>We'll get to that after we deal with the amendment. I call Senator Thorpe to speak to her amendment.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Lidia Thorpe</p>
  • <p>[by video link] There are three provisions of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Sunsetting Review and Other Measures) Bill 2021 that are about to expire&#8212;and I do mean that they're about to expire&#8212;in a matter of days, and the government have only just realised. This is terrorism legislation for this country. The government have just woken up and realised that parts of the legislation are going to expire. What are they going to do about it? It's because they didn't do their job&#8212;and the red Liberals don't want to do their jobs either. They want to just rush these through.</p>
  • <p>Some of these provisions that are about to expire have never even been used. So you're about to extend things that have never been used. Why haven't they been used? Shouldn't we be asking that question? Isn't that our responsibility? The previous Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Bret Walker SC, is on the record as saying that he found that 'sunset provisions are problematic', and that 'a period of 10 years appeared arbitrary,' stating that sunset clauses should 'either be really very short' or not be used at all&#8212;who listens to advice in this place?&#8212;in which case, there would:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#8230; be trust in future parliaments to amend, repeal, leave in force laws as the future parliaments see fit in light of circumstances that cannot possibly be predicted at the moment.</p>
  • <p>So, come on, let's do our job. Let's hear from the likes of the Law Council of Australia, Human Rights Watch, Save the Children and Mr Bret Walker SC himself, among many others. We can get this done soon, but we all just need to do our jobs. Let's have a short hearing and air these issues out. Just because the Morrison government didn't do its job doesn't mean that we all now have to scramble. There are plenty of concerns with this legislation and we must air those out&#8212;not to mention that the preventative detention orders and the stop, search and seizure powers that the government wants to extend, with the help of the red Liberals, have never been used. Labor, seriously, why are you supporting something like this?</p>
  • <p>I ask for the support of the Senate. Let's do our job. Roll your sleeves up and do the right thing by the people. Let's take these proposals to the people and the experts by way of a committee. Let's do it now. It can be done. If these provisions that are about to expire are so important and critical to this country, then can't we just follow due process? I thought that was part of the democracy. Is it, or do I need to learn something different about this place? So I call on my fellow senators: if you truly and genuinely represent the constituents you say you do, roll up your sleeves, get the work done and hear from the people and the experts who are saying that this is problematic. Let's find out why it's problematic. Labor, have you checked out why this is problematic, or is it that you just can't be bothered because you have your eyes set on the next election? Don't get too cocky. Fix the legislation, take it to the people and stop worrying about the next election, because we have a number of crises happening in this country right now. I actually don't give a damn who gets in next. I care about the people, and that's why I'm here. So think about why you're here and, the next time you say you're here for the people, make sure that you're walking the talk and not just rushing through dangerous legislation that excludes the people that we are meant to represent.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>To make it clear: on advice from the Clerk, I'm going to jointly deal with contributions on the amendment moved by Senator Thorpe, the amendment moved by Senator Cash and the motion on adopting the report.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Rex Patrick</p>
  • <p>I will be very quick in my commentary. Senator Thorpe makes a pretty good point, and that is that it's well known that the legislation was to sunset. It is a little bit strange that the government hasn't brought this in a little bit sooner, and I'd be interested in hearing from the government as to why that might have been the case. It just seems very odd to me. It would seem that proper process hasn't been afforded the Senate with regard to notice on this. I'd like to think that we could, in fact, examine this, particularly in circumstances where it appears as though the provisions of the legislation haven't been used.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Janet Rice</p>
  • <p>I oppose the government's amendment to not send two bills off to committee&#8212;in particular, the proposal to not refer the Charter of the United Nations Amendment Bill 2021 to committee. It seems to be a case of the government really doing its best to avoid embarrassment and not have transparency. What this bill seems to do is fix up what's been quite a big boo-boo on the part of not just this government but also, in fact, previous Labor governments with regard to the legislation sanctioning people who have been terrorists.</p>
  • <p>It seems, from the current situation&#8212;and it is why this bill is being introduced&#8212;that the regime of sanctions on terrorists has been operating illegally for the last 20 years. It seems that we haven't had the appropriate legislative framework in place to make our ability to sanction terrorists legal. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights' scrutiny report No. 8 of 2021 said:</p>
  • <p class="italic">The legislative instruments were made between 2001 and 2020 but were only registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on 26 May 2021. They were previously gazetted, but not registered&#8212;the effect of which appears to be that before they were registered the instruments did not apply to a person to the extent that they disadvantaged or imposed liabilities on the person.</p>
  • <p>The committee has specifically asked the question of the minister: 'How many of the listings in these legislative instruments are currently valid?' This was covered in <i>The</i><i>Saturday</i><i> Paper</i> last weekend. They summarised the situation by saying:</p>
  • <p class="italic">The sanctions regime under which Australia freezes the assets of suspected and convicted terrorists appears to have been operating illegally for two decades, because the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade failed to entrench it properly in law.</p>
  • <p>Obviously, we want to fix these failings in our sanctions regime to make sure we're complying with UN frameworks, but we reckon that, where the government and the department have stuffed up, there needs to be a bit of transparency. We think referring this off to committee in order to have some transparency, to work out what went wrong and to make sure that such things aren't going to happen in the future is a really important part of accountability and transparency. We don't think referring it off to a committee would hold it up. It could be a very short inquiry. It could be done on the papers. But, basically, we would have that body of evidence saying, 'This is what has gone on, these are the failings that have been discovered, this is how we're going to fix it up and this is how we're going to make sure that such failings don't occur again in the future.' The Greens very much think that the Charter of the United Nations Amendment Bill 2021 should be referred to committee.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>Senator Roberts?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Malcolm Roberts</p>
  • <p>I seek to split the motion and vote separately on part (a) and part (b).</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>That is for the motion to be moved by Senator Cash. I'll put Senator Thorpe's amendment first. The question is that the amendment moved by Senator Siewert at the request of Senator Thorpe be agreed to.</p>